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Science fiction becomes reality: Elon Musk's Neuralink receives FDA approval for human brain implants

Neuralink has recently confirmed that the recruitment process for their clinical trial has not yet begun. In a previous presentation by Elon Musk in December, he emphasized that the main goal of the Neuralink implant is to establish a direct communication link between the human brain and a computer.

Written By: Saumya Nigam @snigam04 New Delhi Updated on: May 26, 2023 18:09 IST
Elon Musk, Neuralink Receives FDA Approval, Human Brain Implants
Image Source : FILE Elon Musk's Neuralink Receives FDA Approval for Human Brain Implants

In a groundbreaking development, Elon Musk's company Neuralink has obtained approval from the USFDA to conduct the world's first human trials of brain implants. This exciting advancement brings us closer to witnessing a science fiction concept becoming a reality. Inspired by what we've seen in movies, where scientists implant chips in the human brain and control them using computers or gadgets, Neuralink's innovative technology holds the potential to address conditions such as blindness, paralysis, and various other brain-related disorders. With this remarkable achievement, we may soon witness remarkable advancements in treating and managing these conditions.

Elon Musk's start-up Neuralink has announced a significant milestone as it received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for conducting human trials of brain transplants. Describing this approval as a crucial initial stride for their technology, the company emphasized the importance of this achievement in advancing their research.

Which diseases will get treated with the help of Neuralink?

Neuralink has clarified that the recruitment process for their clinical trial has not yet commenced. Elon Musk previously highlighted during a presentation in December that the primary objective of the Neuralink implant is to establish direct communication between the human brain and a computer. 

In essence, the company plans to implant a chip in the human brain, which will monitor brain activities and transmit the data to a computer. Neuralink believes that this groundbreaking technology holds the potential for treating conditions such as depression, autism, and various degenerative diseases.

Musk’s take on it

Upon receiving the approval, Musk expressed his dedication, stating, "We are diligently working towards our inaugural human trial. Naturally, we are committed to exercising utmost caution and ensuring complete clarity before introducing any device into humans, ensuring its efficacy."

A trial done on monkeys

Neuralink, under Musk's leadership, has been dedicated to advancing this field for several years. In July 2019, the company announced its plans for conducting initial human tests by 2020. Prior to these trials, Neuralink successfully implanted its technology into the skulls of monkeys. A captivating presentation showcased the monkeys engaging in simple video games and manipulating a cursor on a screen using the Neuralink implant.

FDA had expressed concern

Since 2019, Musk had made multiple predictions about human trials for Neuralink, but the company initiated the process of seeking FDA approval as early as 2022. However, recent revelations from seven current and former Neuralink employees indicate that the FDA expressed several concerns before granting approval for human trials. These concerns encompassed various aspects, such as the device's lithium battery, the potential risk of implant wires penetrating the brain, and ensuring the safe removal of the device without causing damage to the brain tissue.

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